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Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance (2022)

The purpose of this document is to establish guidelines to be followed by officers and employees of the U.S. Department of Justice investigative, prosecutorial, correctional, and parole components in the treatment of victims of and witnesses to crime. Federal victims’ services and rights laws are the foundation for the AG Guidelines. The core statutes are the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act (VRRA) and the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA); however, additional rights and requirements exist in other statutes and rules of criminal procedure.

In the text of the AG Guidelines, all statutory requirements or rules of criminal procedure are followed by a direct citation to the applicable statute or rule. Guidelines that are purely Departmental policy, as opposed to statutory law, will not be followed by a citation. The AG Guidelines are organized around the two primary crime victims’ services and rights laws.

  • Articles I and II deal with general policies affecting all components and victims.
  • Article III contains the basic definitions of victim under both of the key laws, as well as sections on unique victim populations.
  • Article IV covers the government’s mandatory obligations to provide services to victims of a crime under the VRRA.
  • Article V covers the rights afforded to victims under the CVRA.
  • Article VI addresses witnesses only.
  • Article VII consists of the Department’s statement on nonlitigability.
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